Women’s soccer celebrates seniors

Emily Dalton

Even after a second half own-goal cut St. John’s lead in half, the Wildcats were unable to find the back of the net again, giving the Red Storm (14-2-1) a 2-1 victory over Villanova (1-16) at Higgins Soccer Complex on Sunday afternoon. 

Despite falling short, the Wildcats improved as the game went on, maintaining more possession and applying higher pressure. Most importantly, they were relentless and played with the positive attitude and work rate that they have carried with them throughout the entire season.

“Our team’s biggest accomplishment this year is our resilience,” senior Michelle Wiese said.  

“Although our record hasn’t been what we anticipated or wanted, it doesn’t define the talent of this team as a whole or individually,” added senior Reanna Marino. “It has been such a pleasure being a part of a team that stuck together tight. That’s something to be proud of.”

Villanova also credits its team chemistry in helping to keep a constructive environment both on and off the field. “We are a team that genuinely enjoys spending time together, and that creates an all around good atmosphere,” junior Katie Martin said.

Sunday’s game not only marked the conclusion of Villanova’s home campaign, but also the celebration of Senior Recognition Day for the six graduating members of the Class of 2016. 

“Going into Senior Day is of course a bit bittersweet,” senior Rhea Barghash said. “Competing everyday on a team and fighting for something bigger than ourselves won’t last, but the friendships I’ve made and those memories always will.”

While for some it may be a day of nostalgia and reminiscence, others view it as a day to celebrate with those closest to them. 

“Senior Day gives us one last opportunity to enjoy doing what we love with the people we love,” Wiese said. “We have all been playing soccer since we were very little and Senior Day gives us a chance to finish what we started.”

This day serves as both a celebration and a way for the Wildcats to show their gratitude for the effort and leadership of their senior teammates for the past four years. 

“The leadership of the senior class has definitely kept our team stable during the tough season,” Martin said. “They have maintained a mentality of truly enjoying playing soccer, despite what the outcome is. I think I can speak on behalf of the team when I say that has been really inspiring.” 

As the season draws to a close, the Wildcats appreciate how they have embodied their program’s motto, #EnjoyTheJourney, day in and day out. “It’s about enjoying every day,” said Head Coach Fran Kulas. “This is team is fun. They work hard and have great chemistry. Even though results have not gone our way, our kids never lost their way. They stayed the course, and I know they will all go on and continue to be successful.”